1-1. Our Construction Section
There are 14 employees who have the responsibility of maintaining the Lincoln Water System in a safe and efficient manner. These employees perform a variety of tasks for customers, plumbers and contractors. They are responsible for field inspecting over 7,200 hydrants annually. They are also responsible for field inspecting over 17,000 valves annually.
2. What Types of Tasks are Performed?
2-2. Install tapping sleeve and valve.
2-3. Repair or replace water main valve or valve box.
2-4. Repair or replace fire hydrant.
2-5. Fire Hydrants Out of Service.
2-6. Repair or abandon water service.
2-7. Services performed for contractors.
2-8. Field inspections.
2-9. Maps and records.
2-1. Repair Broken Water Mains.
Once the break has been detected and the section of main has been turned off, the crew can begin excavation. A crew begins excavation on a broken water main. Once the main is exposed, a worker will enter the excavation hole, clean off the damaged portion of water main, and examine the damage.
A damaged section has been cleaned and inspected.
When the worker has determined the extent of the damage, a stainless steel clamp is used to repair the main. Polyethylene plastic is then used to cover the clamp. Occasionally, a section of water main may have to be removed and replaced. In 1999, the Construction Section repaired 93 water main breaks.
2-2. Install Tapping Sleeve and Valve.
A tapping sleeve and valve are installed to: (a) supply a new fire hydrant which may be added to an existing water main; (b) supply a water service line or a fire line to a customer; or (c) supply a branch off of an existing water main.
2-3. Repair or Replace Water Main Valve or Valve Box.
Valves are repaired on an as-needed basis. Valve repairs require excavation. Crews will normally replace the worn nuts and bolts, repack the valve and replace the operating nut, if necessary. The valve is wrapped with polyethylene plastic to protect it against the corrosive effects of the soil and to help preserve it. Water main valves are replaced on an as-needed basis as well. Valve box maintenance usually requires crews to remove debris from inside the valve box. Crews also adjust valve boxes to grade and replace sections of valve boxes when they have been reported broken. Valve boxes are straightened when the alignment needs to be corrected. These procedures usually require an excavation procedure.
2-4. Repair or Replace Fire Hydrant.
A worn fire hydrant can produce a "water hammer" which is a fluctuation in pressure. This can cause a water main break. Therefore, it is very important to keep all fire hydrants in good working condition for fire protection.
Repairs to fire hydrants could include: (1) removing internal parts and repairing or replacing worn parts as needed; (2) installing a breaker repair kit to a fire hydrant which has been struck by a motor vehicle; and (3) raising a fire hydrant to grade, which would involve adding a barrel extension along with an extension kit.
Fire hydrants are replaced or added to the water system on an as-needed basis. This procedure requires an excavation. This fire hydrant was struck by a motor vehicle and will require a crew to excavate and replace the fire hydrant.
2-5. Fire Hydrants Out of Service.
When a fire hydrant is out of service or in need of repair, it is necessary to notify the proper authorities of these hydrant locations. If there was an emergency, the Fire Department would not waste time driving around trying to find a working hydrant.
• Fire Hydrants Out of Service
2-6. Repair or Abandon Water Service.
This usually occurs when a service is leaking to the point that it causes problems to the surrounding area and cannot be turned off, or when it becomes a safety hazard to the public, or when the construction section abandons a section of water main and the existing services need to be moved.
Abandoning tapping sleeves, valves and corporations are completed upon request.
2-7. Services Performed for Contractors and Plumbers.
A sleeve and valve is installed for plumbers when a 2-inch or greater service is needed. A sleeve and valve are also made when a new water main is added to an existing water main. All new water mains are chlorinated by our construction section.
Turning off and on water mains is performed for contractors and plumbers on an as-needed basis for a number of reasons:
- Plans may require a contractor to remove a temporary/existing valve.
- A fire hydrant may have to be moved because of a street-widening project or a surfacing project.
- When a water service or water main has been damaged and is causing a leak.
Once new water districts have been completed, crews raise the fire hydrants to finish grade and adjust the valve boxes to the proper grade for contractors and Street Maintenance when they are notified to do so.
2-8. Field Inspections.
Every fire hydrant is inspected annually. Fire hydrants are checked for defects and all fire hydrants are opened and flushed. A report is filled out for any defect found during each inspection. Crews are dispatched to complete repairs. Water main valves and valve boxes are checked during the winter season.
All valve boxes are inspected and the valves are exercised. A report is filled out for any defect found during each inspection. Field crews repair all defects found.
2-9. Maps and Records.
A report is written for every new valve or hydrant added to the water main system. This is done to keep all areas of the water main system updated. Resurfacing inspections, paving inspections, water main inspections and retainer release inspections are all functions performed by the construction section as well.
This is just a brief outline of the many functions performed by the Construction Section of the City of Lincoln Water Department. If you would like any additional information or if you have any questions regarding the tasks outlined above, please call (402) 441-5921 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.